There is no coincidence with God. He provides the most unusual answers to prayer, and to those who may be considered unimportant. Life changing happenings - a way of opening our eyes to our big our God is, not just in our 'world', but in the whole universe.
This is now a part of my history. I now know that no one is ever too old to serve our Lord in some way. As a young girl, I desired to go to the mission field. Always China was uppermost in my mind. China fascinated me. The concept that China was on the other side of the world. (Although, I tried to dig 'through' one summer afternoon in our Oklahoma back yard, I could not reach China.) Then during the latter '30's and early '40's I saw movie newsreels of the plight of the Chinese people. The graphic pictures of the Life magazines depicted the Chinese children. At night, I often dreamed of soldiers, and day-dreamed that our family would grow by adopting a child from every country in the world.
After I retired from teaching school for 31 years, and learned the many ways I could serve God, He brought China to me. It happened one warm fall morning, as we prepared for our Ladies' Bible Study - moving this night to the windowed foyer (not in the hidden classroom). I noticed a slim dark haired lady coming to the door and went to meet her.
"Is this a church?"
"Could I come in?"
"Of course," I answered. And thus a friendship began with Linda Liu from Shenzhen, China. She came into the building and she moved right into my heart! That first evening I showed her the many groups that were engaged in study and activies. Then we went to the RCC Library. We sat on the floor and I showed her a Bible, and gave one to her. She had never seen one before.
Linda trained as an employee of Walmart, working in the neighboring Bentonville. She had two months left of her three months here. She became a part of the Rogers Christian Church family. She joined us for fellowship dinners, visited with the children, came to Bible Studies, worshiped with us and learned. She enjoyed not one, but two Thanksgiving dinners that day and learned that she loved to eat the turkey leg. She helped to paint the scenery for the Faithful Witness (11 scenes of the Life of Christ for a drive through drama) and portrayed Mary at the tomb.
One Wednesday night our prayers were answered when Linda wanted to accept Jesus as her Lord and complete her obedience to Him through baptism. When I asked how she felt afterward, she said that she had longed for the peace that passes understanding for a long time. Our church family rejoiced with Linda and embraced her.
All too soon, she prepared to return to China. It was extremely difficult to let her go. She had become our sister and our daughter in Jesus. As I said goodbye, she said she would send others to us. We have met many Chinese folks through Linda. Each time we meet someone new from China, we thank God for His providence and for Linda's faithfulness.
What has happened to Linda? She was able to return to United States one time, visited with our Ladies Bible Study, and worshiped with us. We email constantly, or use Messenger or Skype to keep in touch. Linda is married and now has a little boy, Kin Ling. She continues to astound me with her wisdom, her love for Jesus, and unfailing faith. We pray for each other. This friendship (love-ship) is a gift from God!
How often I have sent this message from Apostle Paul to Linda:
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6God's Providence was evident in too many ways....and these are the questions that I ponder:
1. Why did we meet in the foyer, instead of the closed off classroom for our Bible Study that night?
2. Why did the Librarian Ginger tell me there were extra Bibles on the shelf in the library if anyone needed them -- that very morning?
3. Why was I the first one to see Linda that first evening?
How I prayed that God would give me the words He wanted me to say to Linda, and each time I communicated to her. (What a blessing technology is that helps us keep our friendship alive.) When I hear the Sunday Message and prepare the summary for the weekly email I send to my Chinese friends - I think about the message as they will hear it and what it will mean to them.
Everything was created through Him;Comments
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn't put it out. John 1:3-5 (Message)